Home at last, and home for quite a while, yay! Only two short weekend trips, in-state, before the summer is over, and lots of weeks between now and then (three, but don't burst my bubble). Although I should be honest and mention that when I say "we" are home, I mean "me and Rick"; the girls are still in Maryland with their grandparents.
Rick commented this morning that he doesn't think their rooms have ever stayed clean for this long. But it is really quiet around here. Just sayin'.
Washington, D.C. is such a fun city to spend time in. I only wish that it hadn't been 106 degrees on our first day there (not to mention 102 on our first night). We spent more time indoors than I generally like on a vacation, and the girls were heard to remark on a number of occasions (in tones of horror) that they were sweating. We pointed out that they actually sweat here, too, it just usually evaporates a little more quickly. Perhaps this picture of us waiting in line outside the Archives can convey how they felt about an east coast scorcher.
I suggested that they wouldn't know hot until they'd tried to sleep through a night like those in a third-story bedroom under the eaves of an old house with no air conditioning, with only one window per room (cross-breeze? we don't need no stinking cross-breeze). (Why yes, I have done that, why do you ask?) They were not amused.
We all really did have a wonderful time, though, and I'll share pictures of some of the many things we did (by my count: sculpture garden (ten minutes -- it was hot), American Indian Museum, Air and Space Museum, Textile Museum, National Archives, Spy Museum, Capitol, Library of Congress (fifteen minutes before we were driven out by a fire drill), Old Post Office, Eastern Market, Smithsonian, National Mall). In four days.
Rick and I have actually been home for a few days, but I'm in recovery. This means that I've done some knitting, and I've done some spinning. The spinning has, in my opinion, been rather more successful than the knitting, about which I need some opinions. I knitted a beaded tam for Younger Daughter, which looks absolutely lovely, but which is as limp as a wilted cabbage.
I'm going to try reblocking it on a smaller plate, with the brim pulled in tighter, but I think that this may be a bad yarn match. This is knitted out of a merino singles which was stretched during the spinning, making it silky and beautiful, but leaving it with no spring. I didn't really think about it, having never knitted with this particular yarn before, but I'm starting to wonder whether this is something that isn't going to work for a hat, and if so, whether to attempt to save it with some elastic in the brim (my best thought) or to frog it and try something else (if the singles would survive the frogging). Thoughts?
The other project I need an opinion on is the lovely bamboo lace I finished just before I left. This is Anne's pattern Les Abeilles, with some modifications at the end because I'd run out of yarn. It's the modifications that I'm not sure about. I haven't woven the ends in yet, so this could easily be frogged, and I could figure out something else to do with the yarn (or I could just throw it in the stash for a time-out). Basically, I had to bind off along the top, rather than decreasing away all the stitches. This has left it with a rather odd shape, and I can't tell whether I really like it, or really don't. This matters a bit more than usual, since I was thinking that I would give this to a friend of mine who is due at the end of the summer (people always give hand-knits to new babies; I figure mothers should get hand-knits, too, right?).
It does not in any way close. One could not tie it shut, or use a pin on it. But it does stay put, and it makes a rather nice shoulder cover, I think. I'm torn.
I would like to make it very clear that this is not a pattern issue; you should see Anne's photos of her finished shawlet. This is a problem of my own making, as I thought I'd have more yarn left after finishing my socks, but I didn't.
See? It does a reasonable job of covering the back of one's neck and shoulders. But I wouldn't want to saddle someone with something dorky.
So, opinions? Is this little thing due a visit to the frog pond? Or is it an interesting design choice? You decide...